The 1994 genocide against Tutsi was, by any account, the most vicious, well planned, swiftest genocide in our time. In almost 100 days, more than a million people perished. How was this possible, but for well orchestrated pre-planning, concise execution and a deeply instilled genocidal philosophy.
There can be no doubt that a sizable portion of the population took part in the attempted extermination of Tutsi, hence the swiftness and “accuracy” of the plans of annihilating Tutsi.
I am tempted to say I understand why victims and survivors of the genocide apportion collective guilt to (all) Hutus, but I do not support it, agree with it, or in any way believe in it. This is a recipe for disaster and not good for a peaceful and reconciled Rwanda.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of good-intentioned and heroic Hutus who saved lives and in the course of doing so endangered theirs. Many paid the ultimate price by refusing to subscribe to the genocidal ideology or participate in it. These men and women are also our unsung heroes, and we must acknowledge them, without hesitation.
Hence, it would not serve Rwanda well to collectively say all Hutus bear the blame. They don’t. That is a moronic proposition. It is not true and does not serve us well.
But the conspiracy of silence ought to be addressed if fences are to mend. How come the Old Guard from the Habyarimana regime who were in Rwanda at the time (and many are still there, and in government jobs) have never come forward, on their own, willingly, to condemn the acts and policies of a regime they served? Is it because they stealthily supported the policies, or lack moral courage?
There is no greater sin to see evil and do nothing about it.
Unless I have missed it, in which case I will publicly apologize, how come no prominent Hutu has written a book about the terrible 100 dark days of April, 1994? Why have these honorable men and women not found it necessary to quell this un-founded and unfair apportioning of collective blame and in so doing contribute to the healing of the Nation? I say in the interests of national healing they owe it to themselves, the Nation, and millions of survivors. Silence gives consent, and I don’t for a minute believe this is their intent.
But their silence is deafening and worrying. And it is never too late to set the record straight.
I call upon those who love Rwanda, who did not subscribe to the rotten ideology of Hutu power and genocide to step forward and do the right thing. Reconciliation cannot, and must not be, legislated. But this selfless act of setting history right would be a great pillar of a healing and forgiving Rwanda.